A gap is currently growing between the rich theories in International Relations (IR) and how they are presented in classrooms. Although the scholarly literature acknowledges the complexities of international relations, these notions are not fully integrated into IR courses, especially at the introductory level. I assert that teaching IR through the framework of relations between different me(s) and other(s) would address this problem. In short, I claim that international relations are almost by definition about interactions between a me and an other. Acknowledging this fact will allow us to sharpen a number of important issues and questions in world politics concerning the me(s) (for example, states, ethnic groups, IGOs, NGOs, transnational communities) and their relevant other(s). I contend that this approach helps to capture the multiplicity of actors, interactions, and practices in IR, and to better connect them to the theories in the field. I further suggest that this approach not only provides a fruitful method for teaching IR, but it also allows scholars (and students) to rethink and reflect on the field.
- IR theory
- International relations